December 13, 2009 by Richard Budman · Leave a Comment
My friend Saul Colt invited me to an interesting DVD launch event. Saul and I like to talk all things digital marketing so I was intrigued that Warner Brothers was doing this “live community screening featuring star Daniel Radcliffe” (their words) to promote the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince on Blu-ray and DVD.
Now, the event was well put together and the couple hundred people in attendance at the Varsity cinemas seemed to enjoy the free popcorn, drinks, entertainment, and the chance to win some cool prizes.
But when it came time for the actual screening – I was very disappointed. Small text scrolling across the top screen? That’s what Warner Brothers means by “live virtual participation of star Daniel Radcliffe and director David Yates”?
I certainly wasn’t feeling it be very participatory or entertaining for that matter. If you got the director and star Daniel live in London doing real-time commentary on your network – I say you got to pump some video threw those pipes!
If they are talking live in London – I want to see that on the big screen, together with the film. Since everybody at the theatre will end up buying the DVD and watching it twenty times anyway – we didn’t really need to see a full-fledged theatrical presentation of the film yesterday.
Here’s a thought Warner Brothers – find one of those DVD’s you’ve produced in the past – one that lists a “video commentary” by the cast and crew as a special feature.
Do that next time and you’ll have a cool community screening.
I can’t believe it a bandwidth thing. If YouTube can deliver a beautiful live U2 concert stream to 10 million peeps simultaneous – I think WB tech people can figure out a way to pump a video stream into the few theatres across the globe participating in the event.
So after about 15 minutes of not being able to connect to the text commentary. I was out of there.
Turned out the best thing about the Potter event for me was it got me into Varsity cinemas where I noticed a screening of Up In The Air was just starting in the theatre next. Since I was waiting for my nephew who was enjoying the Potter Film (I did ask him later, he didn’t bother with a word of the text commentary either – he was just lovin’ the film.)
Me? I took a seat for the Clooney movie next door.
And what a beautiful film it was. Reitman and Co. should well be on their way to multiple Oscar nominations in the new year.